Monarch will begin cruises in April

Starting on April 27, 2013, the Pullmantour cruise ship will begin its cruise trips from the home port of Colón, which is considered one of the best tourism products at the FITUR fair in Madrid. A large poster in the center of Panama's pavilion depicting this grand ship, which weighs 70,000 tons, is outfitted with 12 decks, has capacity for 2,850 passengers and 780 crew members and will be making 37 departures, attracted the interest of dozens of tour operators in Latin American and European markets.

“This season we bring our best cruise ship to the Latin American market, as a result of the great response we have received from tourism on the continent, which has brought us to exceed 100% occupancy several times,” said José Manuel Martin, International Director of Pullmantur for Latin America.

He added that Pullmantur is a Spanish company with ties to the international cruise line Royal Caribbean. “Our company has the very competitive product of 'all-included', and we believe that the market for taking cruises from Panama will continue to grow.”

It is very easy to take a cruise from Panama, given the air connections with Copa Airlines and other airlines. No North American visa is needed and cruise passengers can enjoy destinations as famous as Cartagena, Aruba, Curaçao and La Guajira, pointed out Ernesto Orillac, Deputy General Manager of the Panama Tourism Agency (ATP) from FITUR.

Ricardo Thompson from Aventuras 2000, one of the operators providing services to the cruise ships, emphasized that operating the home port from the port of Colón 2000 permits tourists to stay a few days before or after boarding. “This generates hotel room  occupancy and bookings of shopping tours or trips to natural sites,” he concluded.